Recent Blog Articles
If cannabis becomes a problem: How to manage withdrawal
Corneal transplants becoming more common
An emerging treatment option for men on active surveillance
Gun violence: A long-lasting toll on children and teens
Adult female acne: Why it happens and the emotional toll
Talking to your doctor about your LGBTQ+ sex life
Untangling grief: Living beyond a great loss
Thunderstorm asthma: Bad weather, allergies, and asthma attacks
Heart problems and the heat: What to know and do
I’m too young to have Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, right?
Diseases & Conditions
Why wound healing gets harder as we age
Controlling underlying conditions and watching for early signs of trouble can go a long way toward prevention.
Image: © travenian/Getty Images
When you skinned your knee as a kid, the scrape healed on its own with little more than a bandage and mom's TLC. Now that you're older, wounds can take much longer to heal — sometimes many months. "The body's capacity to repair the skin diminishes as we get older. There aren't as many growth factors and stem cells in the skin. Chronic disease, especially blood vessel disease, and malnutrition can also slow the healing process," says Dr. Dennis Orgill, a surgeon and medical director of the Wound Care Center at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital.
Wounds that resist healing may result from radiation (for cancer treatment) or injuries due to falls. But the following tend to be the most common reasons for a wound to get out of hand.
To continue reading this article, you must log in.
Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.
- Research health conditions
- Check your symptoms
- Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
- Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.Sign Me Up
Already a member? Login ».
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
Free Healthbeat Signup
Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!